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Tomytronic 3D

Posted by Big Boo on November 25th, 2009

tomytronic-3dLooking like a pair of futuristic binoculars, the Tomytronic 3D range of electronic games were much sought after when they were released in the early eighties. The bold claim that these games had was that the action was depicted in three dimensions, making all those other resolutely two dimensional games seem old fashioned and dull.

This claim was probably a little over the top. Yes, the games did appear to be more three dimensional, but only because they worked in a similar way to one of those Viewmaster toys. You looked down two eyepieces so each eye saw a slightly different view of the same image. This made your brain see the image pop into three dimensions.

Sounds good, but given that these games were still limited to only being able to display the graphical images in fixed positions you weren’t going to get smooth movement or animation, and the games were limited to the standard fodder of space invader clones and driving games where you could be in one of three different lanes and all you had to do was switch lanes to dodge oncoming cars.

The games were also not all that good for your eyes or your posture! The game screen was only visible if you had a fairly strong light source coming in through the frosted plastic on the top of the unit, and of course you had to hold the thing up to your eyes constantly in order to play it, so aching arms quickly ensued.

That said, at the time none of that mattered to me and I was deeply envious of anybody who had one of these games, as it made my Grandstand Munchman look dull and boring…